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June 18, 2009

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Amen. My sincere, albeit somewhat idealistic/naive, hope is that the events in Iran and recent election in the US serve as beacons to those sick and tired of war and fear mongering. Let's hope it turns into a self-reinforcing series of events.

Well said. Regardless of Sullivan's intentions (of which I have no clue), the result is as you have so eloquently stated. He has humanized the Iranian people and their very public demand for delivery of promised democracy. I wish them much success in this exercise of political empowerment.

I watch in awe and with great trepidation remembering the recently failed popular revolution in Burma.

Eric, I wouldn't worry too much: the vileness with which Sullivan smeared those opposed to the Iraq war is unsurpassed. Now, I'm willing to acknowledge that he seems to have learned something in the meantime, but I'm not willing to forget.

Can't help but agree that this sort of technological bridge between cultures is a very good thing for mutual understanding. Sullivan has been doing a great job covering this.

Eric, I wouldn't worry too much: the vileness with which Sullivan smeared those opposed to the Iraq war is unsurpassed. Now, I'm willing to acknowledge that he seems to have learned something in the meantime, but I'm not willing to forget.

Good lord, the guy has been doing mea culpas on that for how many years? Give him a break.

Good lord, the guy has been doing mea culpas on that for how many years? Give him a break.

Yeah, but he never apologized for attacking other gay men as being promiscuous while he himself was anonymously trolling for bareback (ie, no-condom) sex, even though he's infected with HIV. You'd think someone who was Oxford-educated would have the ability to understand his own hypocrisy, but since his income depends on his being ignorant of it (a la Mencken) it is perhaps no so surprising.

He's never apologized for setting Stephen Glass or The Bell Curve upon humanity, either.

It is encouraging to think that this budding spirit of solidarity will make it harder to demonize Iran and more difficult to drum up support for military strikes on a population whose cause has been taken up with such ardor.

Would that I could be so hopeful.

Humanizing the people of Iran will only make a difference to those people who already understand that war involves enormous suffering by innocent people. By and large, we don't discuss war in those terms in our country. As long as we wage war with good intentions, the resulting suffering is easily waved away. Don't worry, our precision weapons are so sophisticated that we'll only get the bad guys. The reports of civilian casualties are wildly overstated. We do everything we can to minimize civilian deaths, what more do you want?

If anything, I fear that this humanization could actually backfire if there's a severe crackdown by the regime in Iran: Those people are our brothers! We can't just let them be repressed, we have to do something, anything, whatever it takes, bombs away!

And should that occur, I absolutely guarantee that Sullivan will be leading the charge. Which is why I will not reassess my overall opinion of him based on his recent posts.

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